Investigate Flood Insurance Rates

About one-third of claims paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program since its inception in 1978 have gone to residents and businesses in Louisiana. Meanwhile, West Virginians have accounted for less than 1 percent of flood insurance claims.

Yet Mountain State residents pay higher flood insurance premiums than what the government charges in Louisiana. And federal officials want to increase rates here, drastically, in some cases.

Thanks to emergency action by Congress, rate increases will be phased in slowly.

Lawmakers should be taking more action, as a story on page one of today’s newspaper makes clear. Flood insurance rates seem to bear little relation to risk. And federal officials’ plan to change premiums may merely aggravate injustices.

For example, as our story shows, Floridians, where risk from hurricanes is enormous, pay the lowest flood insurance rates in the nation – much lower than West Virginians.

That makes no sense. Congress should investigate the flood insurance program to ensure some policyholders are not subsidizing others.